|Publication number||US7640416 B2|
|Application number||US 11/193,959|
|Publication date||Dec 29, 2009|
|Filing date||Jul 29, 2005|
|Priority date||Jul 29, 2005|
|Also published as||CN1904855A, CN1904855B, US20070028069|
|Publication number||11193959, 193959, US 7640416 B2, US 7640416B2, US-B2-7640416, US7640416 B2, US7640416B2|
|Inventors||Prasenjit Sarkar, Jimmy Paul Strickland, Brent Cameron Beardsley|
|Original Assignee||International Business Machines Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (9), Classifications (20), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention generally relates to storage area networks and in particular to a unifying abstraction for components in a storage area network that correlates the entities in a volume container.
A storage area network is a network of storage devices or disks. A storage area network can connect one or more servers (host servers) to a centralized pool of disk storage (storage devices or storage volumes). Compared to managing many servers, each with a storage device, use of a storage area network improves system administration.
Although storage area network technology has proven to be useful, it would be desirable to present additional improvements. Conventional methods of managing storage area networks comprise low level primitives (i.e., machine language) that require considerable expertise in storage subsystems, networks, etc. Storage administrators frequently make mistakes in performing these operations.
Furthermore, storage administrators have difficulty in correlating various components such as, for example, host servers and storage devices in a storage area network. A system administrator has to perform mappings between servers and storage devices. Each server and each storage device represents an individual mapping. With many servers and many storage devices, managing issues such as consistent mapping, security, and access are very difficult to configure and maintain.
Conventional storage area networks lack a unifying abstraction for the entities in the storage area network. What is therefore needed is a system, a computer program product, and an associated method for automatically relating components of a storage area network in a volume container. The need for such a solution has heretofore remained unsatisfied.
The present invention satisfies this need, and presents a system, a service, a computer program product, and an associated method (collectively referred to herein as “the system” or “the present system”) for automatically relating components of a storage area network in a volume container. The present invention reduces administration required for a storage area network, improves consistency in mapping, security, and zoning, and reduces complexity in consistently replicating a logical group of storage volumes, making failure recovery easier. Consequently, the present system improves scalability of storage area networks.
The volume container is an abstract entity that shows a relationship between servers (interchangeably referenced herein as host servers) and storage devices (interchangeably referenced herein as storage volumes). The volume container automatically captures the assignment of storage volumes in storage subsystems to servers. The volume container further automatically captures network access control between host servers and storage subsystems such as, for example, security, zoning, etc.
Volume containers define a membership collection. Policies of the volume container guide operations (or rules) in a volume container; i.e., how storage volumes are allocated and how host servers are zoned to storage volumes. Consequently, the membership automatically associates access and security within the volume container.
Membership in a volume container by the host server or the storage volume comprises the following implications with respect to adding and removing storage volumes and host servers in the volume container.
Adding a storage volume to a volume container assigns the storage volume to all of the host servers in the storage container. Adding a storage volume to a volume container further zones the storage volume to all of the host servers in the volume container.
Adding a server to a volume container assigns the host server to all of the storage volumes in the volume container. Adding a host server to a volume container further zones all of the host servers to the storage volumes in the volume container.
Removal of a storage volume from a volume container removes assignments of the removed storage volume to host servers in the volume container. Removal of a storage volume from a volume container further removes zones associated with the removed storage volume.
Removal of a host server from a storage container removes assignments of the removed host server to storage volumes in the volume container. Removal of a host server from a volume container further removes zones associated with the removed host server.
A host server may belong to multiple volume containers but a storage volume can belong to at most one volume container.
The present system enables adding a client to a group of clients in a shared file system mounted from a storage volume. Using the volume container to define the shared file system enables automatic access by the added client.
The various features of the present invention and the manner of attaining them will be described in greater detail with reference to the following description, claims, and drawings, wherein reference numerals are reused, where appropriate, to indicate a correspondence between the referenced items, and wherein:
The following definitions and explanations provide background information pertaining to the technical field of the present invention, and are intended to facilitate the understanding of the present invention without limiting its scope:
Volume Container: An abstract entity that shows a relationship between servers and storage devices. The entity captures the assignment of volumes from storage subsystems to servers. The entity further captures network access control between servers and storage subsystems such as, for example, zoning.
Hosts, such as a host server 1, 15, through a host server N, 20, (collectively referenced as host servers 25) access a storage system 30 through a network 35. The storage system 30 comprises storage devices such as a storage volume 1, 40, through a storage volume N, 45, (collectively referenced as storage volumes 50). While system 10 is described in terms of network 35, host servers 25 may also access the storage system 30 and system 10 locally rather than remotely.
System 10 automatically manages assignment of the host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50 into a volume container.
System 10 automatically maps the host servers 25 and the storage servers 50 in one or more volume containers. In the example of
The volume containers 250 are abstract entities that illustrate a relationship between the host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50. This abstract entity captures the assignment of storage volumes 50 from the storage subsystem 1, 215, and the storage subsystem 2, 220 to the host servers 25. The volume containers 250 further capture network access control between the host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50. Network access control comprises, for example, zoning, access, and security.
System 10 monitors the volume container for changes in configuration (step 315). If a modification in the volume container is identified (decision step 320), system 10 modifies a mapping between one or more the host servers 25 and one or more the storage volumes 50 (step 325, illustrated in more detail in method 500 of
System 10 automatically establishes a mapping between the host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50 as illustrated by method 400 of
When no storage volumes 50 remain for mapping (decision step 415), system 10 selects one of the host servers 25 (i.e., the host server 1, 15) (step 425). System 10 maps the storage volumes 50 to the selected host server, the host server 1, 15 (step 430). System 10 determines whether additional host servers 25 remain for mapping (decision step 435). If yes, system 10 selects a next host server from the host servers 25 and repeats step 430 and step 435. When no host servers 25 remain for mapping (decision step 435), system 10 exits initial mapping (step 445).
Method 400 illustrates an exemplary order for automatically mapping the host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50. Mapping of the storage volumes 50 (step 405 through step 420) may be performed after mapping of the host servers 25 (step 425 through step 440). Furthermore, mapping of individual volume containers 50 may be interspersed with mapping of individual host servers 25.
If a storage volume such as storage volume 1, 40, is being removed from the volume container (decision step 530), system 10 unmaps the host servers 25 in the volume container from the removed storage volume, storage volume 1, 40 (step 535). If a host server such as the host server 1, 15, is being removed to the volume container (decision step 540), system 10 unmaps the storage volumes 50 in the volume container from the removed host server, server 1, 15 (step 545). System 10 exits mapping modification (step 550).
Method 500 illustrates an exemplary order for modifying the mapping the host servers 25 and the storage volume 50 in the volume container. The host servers 25 and the storage volumes 50 may be added or removed in any order.
System 10 can be used to replicate a storage area network. For example, a database system comprises a host server and a set of storage volumes. A database log, database indices, and data are distributed among a set of storage volumes. To replicate the database, the database log, database indices, and data need to be replicated as a set. By placing the host server and the set of storage volumes accessed by the database in a volume container, system 10 can easily replicate the database system by replicating the volume container. In replicating the volume container using system 10, security and access are also replicated, reducing administrative effort and errors and aiding in disk recovery.
System 10 provides parallel access for virtual hosts to storage systems such as the storage system 30. System 10 enables parallel access by adding additional hosts such as virtual host 2, 635, to mapping 630. Essentially, system 10 adds virtual host 2, 635, to the virtualized volume container 605. System 10 maps virtual volumes in the virtual host 2, 635, to the storage volumes 50 and maps the storage volumes 50 to the virtual volumes in the virtual host 2, 635. Consequently, system 10 automatically enables consistent access, security, zones, etc. for the virtual host 2, 635, when the virtual host 2, 635, is added to the virtualized volume container 605.
It is to be understood that the specific embodiments of the invention that have been described are merely illustrative of certain applications of the principle of the present invention. Numerous modifications may be made to a system and method for automatically relating components of a storage area network in a volume container described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
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|U.S. Classification||711/170, 711/202, 711/203, 711/161, 711/162|
|International Classification||G06F9/26, G06F13/00, G06F13/28, G06F9/34, G06F12/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F3/0631, G06F3/0665, G06F3/067, G06F3/0605, G06F3/0637|
|European Classification||G06F3/06A4V4, G06F3/06A4C8, G06F3/06A6D, G06F3/06A4C1, G06F3/06A2A2|
|Jul 29, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, NEW Y
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SARKAR, PRASENJIT;STRICKLAND, JIMMY PAUL;BEERDSLEY, BRENT CAMERON;REEL/FRAME:016833/0195
Effective date: 20050728
|Nov 9, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Aug 9, 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Dec 29, 2013||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Feb 18, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20131229